Climate change now hurts bird migration, UK scientists warn

Specific migratory birds spend up to 60 fewer days a year in Africa, new research finds

Big Zero Report 2022

Climate change has now an impact on the regular seasonal movement of birds, the latest research from a leading UK university suggests.

Experts from Durham University Department of Biosciences found that migratory birds like Nightingales and Willow Warblers spend up to 60 days fewer a year in the non-breeding grounds in Africa.

The scientific team, which looked at 50 years of bird records and related them to climate changes in specific areas, suggests many of Europe’s most common migratory birds are spending longer in their European breeding grounds.

That means that birds depart later for their sub-Saharan African journey and choose to return to Europe earlier.

Published in Global Change Biology, the study also suggests that changes in migratory habits could create longer breeding seasons for specific bird species and have knock-on effects on others.

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